The Almanac

United Press International

Today is Monday, Sept. 4, the 247th day of 2006 with 118 to follow.

This is Labor Day.


The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Saturn, Venus and Uranus. The evening stars are Mercury, Neptune, Mars, Jupiter and Pluto.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Virgo. They include French novelist and politician Francois Rene de Chateaubriand in 1768; architect Daniel Burnham in 1846; engineer-inventor Lewis Latimer in 1848; composer Darius Milhaud in 1892; novelist and essayist Richard Wright in 1908; bandleader Jan Savitt in 1913; radio news commentator Paul Harvey in 1918 (age 88); actor Dick York ("Bewitched") in 1928; dancer/actress Mitzi Gaynor in 1931 (age 75); pro golfer Tom Watson in 1949 (age 57); actress Judith Ivey in 1951 (age 55); comedian Damon Wayans in 1960 (age 46); and actress Ione Skye, daughter of pop singer Donovan, in 1971 (age 35).

On this date in history:

In 1609, navigator Henry Hudson discovered the island of Manhattan.

In 1954, the first passage of the fabled Northwest Passage was completed by icebreakers from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

In 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine African-American students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.

Also in 1957, the Ford Motor Co. introduced the Edsel to beef up its mid-size market but the car was a failure, lasting only three model years.

In 1972, U.S. swimmer Mark Spitz became the first athlete to win seven Olympic gold medals.

In 1980, Iraqi troops seized Iranian territory in a border dispute. The conflict escalated into all-out war.

In 1991, South African President F.W. de Klerk proposed a new constitution. It provided for universal voting rights and opened the parliament to all races.

In 1993, Fatah, the PLO's largest and most moderate faction, endorsed an accord with Israel calling for interim Palestinian self-rule.

In 1995, U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., a Republican presidential hopeful, called for English to be declared the official language of the United States.

In 1998, for the first time since news of his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky broke, U.S. President Bill Clinton said he was "sorry" for what he had done.

In 1999, more than 60 people were killed when Chechen terrorists detonated a car bomb near an apartment building in Dagestan, Russia.

Also in 1999, after East Timor voted for independence rather than remaining a part of Indonesia, hundreds died in a 5-day rampage by pro-Indonesian militants.

In 2002, U.S. President George Bush said he would seek congressional approval for any military move on Iraq. He also promised to consult with allies, some of whom were opposed to his "regime change" plan.

In 2004, Hurricane Frances pounded Palm Beach and Martin counties in Florida with its fury as the storm lumbered slowly ashore with 105 mph winds.

Also in 2004, most polls showed George W. Bush gaining momentum after the Republican convention in his race against Democrat John Kerry.

And, an Argentine court in Buenos Aires acquitted five suspects in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 people and injured 300.

In 2005, New Orleans officials completed evacuation of Hurricane Katrina survivors from the Superdome and convention center -- a total of 42,000 in one day. There still were 2,000 reported at the airport and another 1,000 trapped in attics of their flooded buildings. While reports of violence were down, four people died in a shootout with police near the crash of a civilian helicopter.

A thought for the day: Enoch Arnold Bennett said, "Pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism."

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